LARP at Play: The “Business” of LARP

This week’s topic has been inspired by some comments made to Kevin Tjia’s article Has LARP Evolved? and this forum thread comment (focus on the part discussing club vs. corporation). It got me thinking, what could the LARP hobby learn from the business world? As I was doing some research to answer this question I happened upon a really good article on the Top 10 Basic Business Principles, which was exactly was I was looking for: What basic principles should someone running a business be aware of. I think it’s easy to take these 10 business principles and apply them… Continue reading

LARP Debate: Evolution of LARP

Three years ago I wrote a paper (pdf) (yes, I’m pulling out that paper one more time) for some British LARP friends because they were curious about the US LARP Hobby and the state of the hobby here in the US. A recent article by Kevin Tjia entitled “Has LARP Evolved?” got me thinking and I figured it was time to take a critical look at the hobby as it stands today. Before I get into the meat of this article I feel a need to note a couple caveats: Just as there are those who are wanting to see… Continue reading

LARP at Play: Recruitment and Retention

I’ve yet to find a LARP group that didn’t want to grow its numbers, even slightly. So, how does one go about attracting new people to the game (or even the hobby) and then get them to stay? Over the years I’ve seen some successful and not so successful methods used to encourage individuals to try a game out and I’d like to share that wisdom with you. To start, make sure you know what your game is and isn’t. You don’t want to give a false impression of your game when trying to recruit and keep new members around…. Continue reading

LARP at Play: Costuming and You, Part 2

To start I’d like to give a shout-out to the Clanthia SOLAR LARPers. I’ve loved reading your comments to the posted snippets of my articles (Gender thread and Costuming thread). This week is the second half of Costuming and You, sources and resources for costuming. The first half, various tips to remember when costuming your character, was presented last week. Hope you’re ready for a link dump and a slew of ways to create costuming on the cheap. I’d like to start this week with a link I dug up that is a general discussions of inexpensive costuming. Rather than… Continue reading

LARP at Play: Costuming and You, Part 1

This week and next week’s article is courtesy of a conversation I had with a fellow LARPer and friend, Adam. We got onto the subject of costuming and by the time our several minute conversation had ended we agreed that an article (or two) on costuming would be a good idea. Thus from that conversation we have Costuming and You, parts one and two. This week I’ll be sharing part one and next week will be part two. One of the points we did agree on, and I think many LARPers will agree with, was that part of the joy… Continue reading

LARP at Play: Setting Game/Player Expectations

When I first started this article some years back I gave it the working title “The Care and Feeding of (New) Players” and that title has stuck with it until today. As I was writing it I realized that it needed renaming, thus the slightly different title. This article has made it here after I shared it with a good friend, Conor, who said I should publish it as one of my weekly columns. I’m glad he suggested doing that. I’ve found over my years of LARPing that most players consider several factors when looking at involvement in a LARP,… Continue reading

LARP Design: Game Design & Monte Cook

This week’s column is thanks to a seminar I had a chance to attend at Origins this year. Monte Cook hosted a seminar where he spoke of the basics of game design. Granted for someone whose been reading and studying game design for years it was very basic, however it did provide positive affirmation of points which I’ve felt were key and in many ways have already discussed (Basics of design and Less is more). Just a side note to keep in mind before jumping into the notes from the seminar, Cook used Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition as his… Continue reading

LARP Debate: LARP and Gender

This week’s column has been inspired by a friend and fellow LARPer, Maria. She referenced a series of other articles written on this topic called Gender and Live-Action Role Play and then posed the following, “I am curious if the split between theatre style and combat larp is also relevant in terms of gendered attendance.” I read through the articles referenced to see what the author of them had to share on the subject I was rather shocked and aghast at what I’d read. Beyond the massive amount of page real estate taken up by the author just talking about… Continue reading

LARP Design: A Designer’s Reading List

Not long back I was chatting with a friend and fellow LARP designer and we came to the conclusion that if you want to design, you’ve got to read various written works as well as play and study various games and systems. What should the discerning LARP designer read or have on their reference shelf (even if that shelf is virtual)? Below is a list of papers, books, forums and other resources which I feel are must reads for any LARP game designer: Book of LARP It’s now out of print, but if you’re lucky to find a copy, read… Continue reading

LARP Debate: Art or Sport?

A short while back I was chatting with a fellow LARPer and they referred to the LARP hobby as a sport and it got me thinking, is LARPing a form of art or a type of sport? I briefly touched on the sport-like aspects of the hobby within a short paper(PDF) I wrote in 2006 for some British LARPing friends who wanted to know more about the state of the hobby over here in the States. I feel that this question could use some clarification and exploration beyond what was covered in that paper. I think it’s best to start… Continue reading